Friday, December 30, 2016

The Color of the Year

Electric Fields    (currently in the SAQA Concrete and Grassland show)

The color of the year 2017 is forecast to be a nice spring green...
I don't know if the idea is to try to bring hope to us! Or just to take our minds off politics...but I do love the color and it will be great to be able to get some things in that color.  I'd dearly love a spring green bra!!!!  Black/beige or white just is so uninspiring!  At least with quilts one can use any color at all!!

People often ask me "well, just how do I work in a series"?
Find a theme!!   And, while there are very many good themes, color is a great one.   We nearly all of us have a favorite color and a significant emotional attachment to it...I know when I see this light yellow green I feel has a real emotional impact on me - there is so much hope and promise and lightness to it.  Of course that's just're obviously going  to respond differently both to it and to other colors...but what a great starting point for a series?

I decided to look through my  image files and see just how often I had used my lovely yellow greens:

A Summer Day Long Age (in the PGQ collection)
The above quilt (to me) is really a very narrative piece...I wanted to suggest a very active summer day..with a quiet clear summer night...or, perhaps, reflections dancing in water!

April Rains (private collection)
 And this green does look so fresh and positive!!! Color has such a profound effect on our emotions..and it very often is the reason we choose art work, clothing, furniture, even books with spring green jackets!

Emerald City (newly returned from Art in Embassies)
Again there's a sense of place....the house hidden in the trees....
But below a very different bold approach.  I had just seen the new Beverly Pepper giant strong iron sculpture outside our local art museum - she's into her 90s and her work is muscular!
ForceField 2 
 Alas, Forcefield has never appealed to any juror....perhaps it's just a bit too foreceful?

The one above, just a little fellow...but again I like that sense of place...a hint at a house with the pink..not much...come into the cool shade....
Green Mansions
The one above was always one of my's somewhere in Atlanta...I hope it's being enjoyed!!  I really do like to just suggest dwellings don't I?  it's worthwhile arranging a series of your artworks and seeing if you can detect more themes beyond the one  (in this case color) by which you selected them....  apart from Forcefield, I can see clearly how I love to show houses/homes in the middle of green....and then I remember how as a child living in a grey old city I really yearned  to live in the country surrounded by trees.  Well, you can create anything with your imagination!

Take a look at your work...have you been working in series all along?  What does the work say about you and your hopes?  What colors do you keep coming back to?   And where will you go next?

I can't say I'm really looking forward to next year (!) but I am always going to enjoy learning, creating and cogitating!  To say nothing of a nice cup of tea......which is a jolly good idea!

If you have been, thanks for reading!!!  All good wishes for 2017!  Elizabeth

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Two new classes......Modern Improv Quilts and a Masterclass

The word spire comes from inspire!!  Reach for the top...and a good way to reach higher is with taking classes   - I'd be most embarrassed to tell you just how many classes I am already taking or signed up for in the near future!!  Let's just say they cover a wide variety of topics and I  love learning new things and becoming more skilful.
I've been listening to a wonderful series of interviews with musicians (high recommended if you love classical music) called Living the Classical Life.   Yesterday I listened to an interview with Roger Chase, the British violist and teacher, and he talked about the incredible pleasure of being by oneself for a couple of hours, working at something and actually achieving it - just a great feeling of satisfaction and personal fulfillment.

So where is this leading??? you might well ask!   Actually I just wanted to let you know about two new classes I have starting in January.

Modern Quilts
I've been interested in watching the development of the "modern" quilt movement...the idea is of spare elegance, lots of negative space and breathing room, nothing fussy, but beautifully balanced.
Not so happy, though, at seeing some wrong turns being made in people publishing books and patterns called "modern" that are basically watered down versions of traditional quilts.
So I thought it would be very worthwhile to write a class about how to design these quilt for yourself!
You don't need the latest pattern; from a few basic principles and design ideas, you can create a great many different quilts.   And then (oh yes, there's always an "and then"!) I felt that since at least part of the modern quilt movement was to make it easy and fun for the younger quilter (the one with the full time job and little children), that I should go over the basics of improvisation in quilting too.
so the class is called: Mod Meets Improv!    And it's on the website.

My yearlong masterclass has been very successful, so I'm running it again in 2017.
 (see below a nice quotes from current students ).
Each month, I issue an assignment that is specifically related to some design principle e.g. depth, value, movement etc.   You can work abstractly or realistically or somewhere between the two, any size, any method of construction.   After thinking about the assignment, you send in 3 sketches for critique (gentle!  and as anonymous as you wish), then you refine and choose one and block out the quilt on the design wall, take a picture...and send it to me.  More suggestions...and finally at the end of the month the finished work.
This all takes place on a private blog which can be viewed by class members only....but everyone in the class can see what everyone else is doing.  it's a very safe place to take risks for you can submit the work anonymously and it's absolutely fascinating to see what everyone else does.
I've received rave reviews for the class!!  You don't have to make a quilt every month, by the way...sometimes life just gets in the way....but you can always see what other folk are doing.
Next class starts Jan 1.   (be a good christmas present!).

If you're interested in more information, please just contact me directly:
elizabethyork100 AT yahoo will find me!  (link up on side bar too).
why York?  well I was born and raised there!!  and learned to enjoy a nice cuppa tea ...hmm
now what a good idea!!!
If you have been, thanks for reading!!!  Elizabeth

quote 1: 
--> This has been the best learning experience I have had. It has stretched my thinking process and strengthened my design process.  It has been very enjoyable experience.  I like the way the class is set up, the ability to see everyone’s work, and your comments.  I have enjoyed the references to other artist’s work.  The paintings were such a spark for my imagination.
quote 2:

I have had a great year of learning and creating and it is all due to your Master Class assignments, your superior teaching methods, the critiques, and the inspiration you offer because of your love of Art, Music and Life. I highly value your opinion. I am in awe of how you critique each work and offer concrete (artistic) suggestions in detail and clear explanations as how to improve one’s design. It is one thing to know when a quilt or sketch is not working but it takes great knowledge of composition, keen observational skills and great patience to explain exactly what change is needed to make the piece stronger. Your “cut to the chase” and “to the point” suggestions are so helpful and are right on the mark. All of this is given as a gift to the students while allowing them to work in their own unique style. Bravo!